Summer restrictions – Beaches to be assigned maximum capacity, with unsupervised ones being strictly prohibited
This year beaches will be given a maximum capacity, controlled straight away in the car parks, whenever possible. The common advice given to attend beaches with a lifeguard presence, which has been usual in previous years, has been taken to the next level this year as bans will also be enforced on beaches without some sort surveillance or capacity regulation.
The distance between towels on the beach should be no less than two meters and the use of masks will be mandatory for those who using public beach equipment (sun loungers, bathrooms and bars).
Urban beaches with access along the entire length of the beach may be entirely closed if there is no possibility of controlling access, and street vending on the beach is at risk of being banned also. These proposals were debated, this Wednesday afternoon, in a meeting that involved entities with jurisdiction of Portugal’s coastal areas regarding the preparations for the ‘beach season’ which, as national newspaper JN reported, is planned to start on June 1st.
The date is the one said to be most desirable by the Portuguese Environment Agency to preserve the “economy and mental health of the population”, but it is entirely subject to the lifting of the state of emergency and the guidelines of the Directorate-General for Health.
Catarina Gonçalves, national coordinator of the Blue Flag, attended the meeting and told press that guidelines of good practices to be applied on the beaches will be prepared for the public, which should be released in early May. “We will all have to work on making them known to the users, that is the priority”, she explained, adding that some of the measures to be applied on the beaches will be those that are currently being enforced in public establishments, such as “disinfection of equipment, which on the beaches apply to bathrooms, loungers, etc.”.
Catarina Gonçalves also affirmed that the measures to be carried out depend on “the inspection capacity of the police entities”. “What is certain is that we are all going to have to be our own enforcement agents, whether we are lifeguards or users”.